Saturday, 3 March 2018

My meal prepping routine



Ever since moving out of home and getting married a bit over six years ago, I've definitely experienced a broad range of meal prepping routines over this time, from not thinking at all about what meals I'll make in the coming week (and either ordering take away or ducking up to the local IGA to spend far too much on ingredients), to planning out every lunch and dinner in advance for the coming week.

At the moment, my meal prepping routine looks something like this:

Breakfasts


I am definitely a creature of habit when it comes to breakfast, and Dave is pretty happy eating the same thing for breakfast each day (which is usually some home-made muesli with vanilla yoghurt). Over the summer months, I tend to have home-made muesli (made with oats, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, sultanas, coconut flakes and almonds) with frozen berries, a banana and milk, however as we are coming into the cooler months, I have really been enjoying my porridge recipe, which is essentially oats, chia seeds and a banana heated in the microwave with water and a bit of milk, topped with cinnamon, maca powder, pumpkin seeds, coconut flakes and some form of nut spread (I'm currently loving cashew spread).

Given the regularity of what we eat for breakfast, I just make sure that I keep track of any ingredients that are running low and then stock up on these for the coming week (I'll usually always buy more bananas, milk and yoghurt each week).

Lunches and dinners


I tend to do a grocery run either on Saturday or Sunday mornings, so each Friday or Saturday, I'll have a think about what meals we would like to have in the coming week, and will browse my favourite food blogs (I'm currently obsessed with Pinch of Yum) and cookbooks, or will just cook something I make regularly that doesn't require a recipe. I'll usually plan to make four different recipes for the coming week and make fairly large batches of them, so that we can have, for example, one recipe on Monday night and the leftovers for lunch on Tuesday, another recipe on Tuesday night with the leftovers for lunch on Wednesday, etc.

 I find that four recipes is a good amount as it gives us enough variety, and leaves wiggle room if we are out one night for dinner, or would like a Saturday night takeaway meal. We usually end up eating one of the recipes over two nights - for example, I'll make a big batch of green chicken curry and have that on Wednesday and Thursday nights. I also try to make one vegan/vegetarian dish each week (I'm currently loving Pinch of Yum's detox lentil and veggie soup), which ensures that we are getting a lot of nutrients and balance in our meals.


Go-to recipes


Some of my favourite recipes that I come back to time and time again are:

- Green chicken curry
- Red or yellow fish curry
- Spaghetti marinara
- Penne bolognese
- Satay sweet potato soup
- Detox lentil veggie soup
- Bean chilli with brown rice
- Healthy nachos (made with baked tortillas and lean beef mince)
- Mexican chicken or fish tacos
- Chilli con carne
- Teriyaki salmon with bok choy
- Home-made pizzas


I find that planning out our recipes each week means that I only have to do a grocery run once a week, and ends up saving quite a bit of money as I make sure that I stick to my shopping list. It also means that we are able to eat quite healthily with the meals we consume at home (as we do, on the whole, try to cook nutritous, wholesome meals with fresh ingredients), meaning that we can indulge a bit more when we choose to eat out, which usually ends up happening about one day/week for lunch and one night/week for dinner. Also, if we ever have one or two serves left over of a meal, we pop them in tupperware containers in the freezer, so that we can grab a quick lunch when we need to, if we don't have any fresh leftovers in the fridge.

By putting a little thought and organisation into our meals each week, I've really found that it makes cooking and eating a lot easier, less stressful and more enjoyable!

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